Friday, June 17, 2011

Add Another to the Tree

Our family trees just aren't about the past, but the present too.

Today, we welcome my niece Mandy into the Griffith family!!!  Congratulations to my brother & sister-in-law!

I hear she's gorgeous, but seeing as I haven't gotten to see her yet, we'll await further judgment for a later date.  :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Virgle E. Griffith

It isn't always direct lineages we find when looking for our family history.  Last week, I came across a record on that made me sad, but supported a theory I had from an incorrect census record.

You see, James & Stella Griffith had a son named Virgil.  He was born April 18, 1900, and passed away September 1, 1900.  He's buried in Little Flock Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Coalmont, Clay County, Indiana.  I want to give a heartfelt "Thank you" to Miss Amanda Trill who originally photographed his burial location, then posted it on Find A Grave.  When I contacted her regarding the dates originally listed on the web page, she went back through her pictures and confirmed his dates for me.  She then transferred his memorial page to me so he can be with family.

Virgil was only five months old when he passed away.  The 1900 US Census had him living with his mother and father.  Sadly, he's listed incorrectly on that same Census as being born in 1880, but only 1/12 (1 month old) - the same year his father was born.  I've been looking for confirmation of exactly when he was born.  Thanks to Miss Trill, we now know.  Had it not been for that incorrect census, my curiosity wouldn't have been aroused, and I wouldn't know who he is or what happened to him after that census.

You can view his memorial page by clicking here.

One little boy made his mark on the world, and now, Great Great Great Uncle Virgle, you can rest easy.

Image Courtesy Amanda Trill.  Aug. 14, 2010

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bradaseric - 90% sure we're related...

I would hazard to guess that every single Bradaseric in the United States - of which there are not many - are related to me in some way, shape or form.  While I have not researched this line very much, I thought I would add what I do know.

Joseph Bradaseric came to the US from Austria in 1909 at the age of 9 with his mother Mary, who was born in 1858.  Of his father, I do not yet have any information.  Mary was born of Austrian parents, of which I also do not have any information.  By the 1920 Census, they were settled on a farm in Health, Allegan County, Michigan owed by Joseph.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recent Generations

To date, I've haven't really included anything about the last 3 generations of my Griffith & related families.  I'd really like too, and maybe connect with some actual living, breathing relatives, but it's sad how little I really know.  In some cases, it's easier finding information on people who've been dead for 100+ years.

Our family isn't a "close" one, and the only real cousins or family I speak to are on my birth mother's side of the family.  But, I guess that's how history gets lost.

I suppose I'll add what I know, and see what happens.  :)

Benjamin Griffith & Ann

Benjamin & Ann GRIFFITH are thought to be my 8th paternal great grand parents.

I say thought to be, because, well, I just don't know.

I have linked Jackson GRIFFITH to Benjamin by one, yes one, document - an abstract of Benjamin's will in which Benjamin leaves to Jackson a parcel of land named "Eastern Neck" - the very same one that Jackson later leaves to his daughters Martha & Asenath. Other than that - not a thing.

Jackson Griffith & Ann Blackiston

Jackson and Ann are believed to be my 7th paternal great grandparents.

Information is sketchy at best, and mostly speculation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

William Jackson Griffith & Ann "Hannah"

We're not just murky, we're damn near obscure now.  90% of the information below is UNVERIFIED as of yet by myself.  If anyone has any clues, I'd greatly appreciate them.

William Jackson & Ann "Hannah" GRIFFITH are my 6th paternal great grandparents.  Notes and speculations will be listed after the family data.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

William Jackson Griffith & Catherine Sigmon

We're now entering the somewhat murky waters of my family history.  The information you find below HAS NOT been completely sourced.  I'm posting it in hopes someone out there knows anything that may help.  Because of the prevalence of the name "William Griffith" and "William Jackson Griffith" (and it's variations) during this generation AND the previous generation, tracking has been very tedious, and at times, downright impossible.  It doesn't help that during this and the previous generation, migration to other states was HUGE.  I'll include what I have, what I know, what I speculate, and appreciate any corrections/errors or additional information that you'd like to point out and share.  This is where the "elusiveness" of my Griffith's begins.

Thomas Griffith & Mahala Hutchinson

Image Courtesy John C. Anderson 5/27/2010

The image to the left was found at Find A Grave.  It is actually listed under "Mahalia Griffith" and it reads "With Thomas".  On Thomas' page, it only lists his birth & death dates.

Thomas and Mahala GRIFFITH are my paternal 4th great grandparents.

The Funny Thing About Names

I'm sitting here adding my tree to this blog, and I can't help but wonder why people can't be more original when they are naming their children.  I mean, I understand naming the first born son after his father to carry on the legacy of a name, but you don't name your 6th son the damn name!  So much time could be saved by being a bit more creative.

It's the same with nick names.  If your name is Thomas, your nick name shouldn't be John.  How the heck do you get "John" out of Thomas, especially when your middle name is Joshua or William?  And why in creation would you list a NICK NAME on an official document such as a census.  John isn't your name, it's a nick name.

Just thought I'd share my frustration.  :)

Joshua D. Griffith & Sarah Jane Cottingham

Image Courtesy John C. Anderson 5/27/2010

The image to the left was found at Find A Grave.  It's a wonderful website.

Joshua and Sarah GRIFFITH are my paternal 3rd great grandparents.

James Griffith & Stella Sheets

James GRIFFITH and Stella SHEETS are my paternal 2nd great grandparents.

James is listed with wife Stella in the 1910 Census, but by the 1920 US Census, Stella is listed with Will OWENS as wife.  I originally assumed that James had died.  Apparently, my memory had forgotten that many years ago, I was contacted by a cousin related to me through my great father Harley's brothers - Lester GRIFFITH and Oley GRIFFITH.  My great Aunt Mary Lou had told me the same thing many, many years ago.  But James & Stella didn't have children named Lester and Oley.  The only conclusion?  James didn't die, he "ran off", got remarried, or something that produced, at the very least, those two boys AND someone stayed in touch because the older family members knew of them.  Do I have written proof?  Not a shred.  But I do have a missing father on a 1920 Census, and the memory of a Great Aunt.

Harley Griffith & Zedith Dowdy

Harley and Zedith Griffith are my paternal great-grandparents.  Sadly, I don't know much about them aside from their statistical information.

A Few Notes About Harley:
1.) A few years back, I met a woman through a message board named Donna Phillips who had a relative who was in one of the wars with Harley.  She sent me a black & white photograph and her relatives "war story" that he was doing for a magazine or some such.  However, that piece of information AND the picture has gone MIA in my house, and I can't find it anywhere.  Once I find it, I'll post up the accurate information for this note.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

And Away We Go...

Hello and welcome!

My hunt for ancestors began back in 1999 when one of my high school teachers gave us the assignment of doing a "mini-genealogy" going back to our great-grandparents.

Sounds easy right?

Nope. You see, my father isn't much help with information of actual names of relatives. It was "Uncle Joe", who's real name was Dwight, or Grandma Opiola, who's actual blood-tie to us was through her first marriage, not her "Opiola" surname. So, it was a challenge from the get-go. Needless to say, with little to no communication between my father, his brother and sister (and no way for me to actually contact them myself), I was only able to turn in my assignment with my parents and grandparents. Still aced it though.

But, it got me asking myself "Where are they?". I had to come from someone somewhere, and those someone's had to come from someone else. We didn't just drop out of the sky. So, I started hunting.

This was back when most of today's paid sites were free sites. Remember back when Rootsweb wasn't linked to Remember when you could search family trees on Ancestry, or anywhere for that matter, for free? Yeah, as awesome as that used to be, it was still no help to me. It seemed that no one in the world knew who my small collection of ancestors were. I had no idea what I was doing, if the information I had was right, and if I was spelling anything right. In fact, there are still archived posts of mine on Ancestry and Rootsweb that I look at now and think to myself "Jeesh, no wonder barely anyone could help, that information is all wrong!"

A month or two after my genealogy assignment was completed, "Uncle Joe" passed away. It was then I found out, through an old friend of his, more information about my family. That's also when I learned his name was Dwight and not Joe. I finally had a starting point. I still got dates wrong, I still had misspelled surnames, but at least I had something.

Fast forward to 2011. Over the years, I've searched off and on, learning a bit more here and there, losing information and having to rely on my memory and my old, inaccurate forum postings to get started again. With all the "mainstream" genealogy sites now being paid sites, and not being very cost-effective at that, I was left with my trusty friend Google. You're thinking "well, there's free trials" to which I answer "like I'm going to remember to cancel my membership".

Well, I actually did it. I did a free trial for 2 weeks at Ancestry and I DID remember to cancel it before I got charged for a year's subscription. And I found so much information, I thought about NOT canceling it. Then my budget yelled at me and I had too.

I saved everything to my tree. Even if I didn't think it was relevant, I attached it to someone in the general vicinity of the year it referenced. Why? Because, though I can't see the information anymore, I can see the title of it. I can often search good old Google and pull it up someplace else, be it old books now gone digital, snippets of census records, or even in someone else's family tree posted elsewhere. I spent those whole two weeks on Ancestry, scouring records, references, stories, pictures, trying to connection A to B and B to C. Do you honestly think I'm going to remember the birth date of a third cousin three times removed on my 5th great grandfather's side who married his first cousin's daughter's best friend? That's just an example, but no I'm not. And if you can, I wish I had your brain. :)

You may say that "Well, anyone who looks at your ancestry tree thinking they found matches is going to rely on that source information". To which I reply "Always double check your OWN sources". Don't blindly rely on someone else to have everything right, especially not on the internet! If I have sources for the information I post here, I'll reference it. If I don't, it's going to have a very nice disclaimer expressing in large bold wording that I have no source information.

Hopefully, I'll get the hang of this blogging business, and maybe, just maybe, one of my ancestors will be that elusive one you've been looking for. As the days pass, I'll be adding as much information as I can, including some random notes and dates I've scoured from the deep and dark hallways of the internet.